Amid a growing chorus for postponing various central examinations, including NEET and JEE, grew louder across India, Sweden's teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg recently joined the outrage by expressing her concern about Indian students being forced to give exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods. I stand with their call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID," the student activist tweeted.
Her statement came in the wake of the the Education Ministry finalising the date for the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG). JEE-M which was initially meant to be held in April has been postponed to September, as has been the NEET exam which was delayed twice due to rising cases of coronavirus across the country.
Despite some students and parents associations expressing relief at the decision and the Education Ministry's firm stand so far against any further postponement, students from across the country have been demanding postponement of the exams.
On August 23, over 4,000 students observed a day-long hunger strike to press for the demand in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
The protest came on a day Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the government must listen to the 'mann ki baat' of students and arrive at "an acceptable solution" and his party demanded that the Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) be deferred.
Greta Thunberg's support to the protesting students was vastly appreciated on social media.
https://t.co/n3aeb4EMgNWhole world are in the support of postponement of jee and neet examination .then why this government forced give exam .our health is much more important .#MODIJI_HELPJEENEET #POSTPONEJEE_NEET @PMOIndia @DrRPNishank @EduMinOfIndia— Piyush (@Piyush460836081) August 25, 2020
International Environmental Activist Greta Thunberg extended her support for postponement of exams.Huge wakeup call for Govt and people. #MODIJI_POSTPONEJEENEET https://t.co/ws54qXSEt8— Ashutosh kumar (@ashutoshaisa) August 25, 2020
Despite the opposition, many students are also in favour of conducting the exams in September without any further postponement.
Earlier in August, a group of parents and students even launched an online signature petition to ensure no further postponement of the UG entrance examinations for engineering and medical students. As per a reports, students suggested that a one-day lockdown be imposed on exam days to ensure that only the students and exam candidates were allowed to step out on those days.